You only have to read any newspaper or follow any news report to find out that in recent days more than 11,000 migrants have arrived on the Italian coast. To this news is added, unfortunately, the tragedies that occurred at sea. In fact, a few days ago there was news of a boat capsizing off the coast of Libya causing nine deaths, and only a few hours ago, another announcement of a real slaughter in the Strait of Sicily. A fishing boat sank 60 miles north of Libya causing, it seems, the deaths of about 700 people. If the numbers are confirmed, we could be facing the most serious “massacre” in the Mediterranean Sea in recent years.
The Casa delle Culture (House of Cultures) of Scicli operates in this climate and in this “emergency”, and has now become a real point of reference for the Prefecture of Ragusa, which must meet the needs of arriving migrants. For our part, we are trying to give people who pass through our structure, even if only for a short time, a glimmer of normal life whether they remain for only a few days or a few weeks. The House of Cultures continues to welcome people with the same smile and with the same desire to help. Of course, we cannot propose long-term projects, but we are all committed to giving our guests the serenity and normalcy they need in this part of their “journey” which they have been deprived for too long. Day after day, we see the suffering on their faces, yet in their eyes, we see the hope and desire for a better future. In their immense smiles, we find gratitude for gestures that appear absolutely normal to use, but that is something “extraordinary” for them. The relationships and collaborations with citizens are becoming more vibrant and frequent, the House of Cultures is perceived as an “open” place where they can express themselves freely and have the opportunity to recount their own desire for freedom. The House often hosts social and cultural events open to the public, in an attempt to create a real laboratory of integration. Upon their departure from the facility, their hugs, comparable to those of an old friend, reward us for the work we do. This is the climate of serenity we want to give all those who pass through the House of Cultures, leaving everyone with a positive and lasting memory. Since Easter, the Prefecture has been sending children, pregnant women or women with young babies to the House of Cultures, who stay with us for short periods. The turnover is therefore constant and it is difficult to set medium-term actions. Besides, this is the situation today: a continuous flow of people that forces the reception system to constantly adapt itself to an ongoing emergency. And the House of Cultures does its part. Operators of the House of Cultures – MH Scicli